Divorce lawyers and law firms can provide a great deal of divorce information and divorce advice; but sometimes, all that legal jargon can be confusing to say the least, not to mention intimidating. Getting a good, low cost divorce settlement requires planning and research.
So, why not start here? We have provided you with a good glossary of legal terms related to the process of getting a divorce:
Alimony: A regular support payment by one divorced spouse to the other
Annulment: A court declaration stating that a legal marriage never existed
Arbitration: Having a disputed matter settled by a third party who is not a judge.
Attachment: A court-ordered seizure of a debtor’s property.
Attorney at Law: A state-licensed advocate who is hired to prepare, manage and try a case in court.
Alternative Dispute Resolution: A process of negotiation, mediation and arbitration, in lieu of a trial, as a way to resolve issues pertaining to a judgment of divorce.
Case Information Statement (CIS): A financial document specifying the details of your respective incomes, expenses, assets, and debts.
Child Support: Money paid by one ex-spouse to another toward their child’s expenses.
Common Law Marriage: A marriage without a license or ceremony in which the couple cohabitated for a minimum number of years (varies from state to state).
Default: Failure to do something (such as make a payment) on time.
Discovery: The legal procedures used to gather all the facts necessary to settle a case or to prepare the case for trial.
Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce): The legal separation of a married couple so that each one may be free to marry again.
Equitable Distribution: A fair division of the assets acquired during your marriage.
Inventory and Appraisement: A list of jointly-owned property along with the current value of each one.
Joint Legal Custody: An agreement in which a divorced couple share the rights and responsibilities of making major decisions about their child’s life.
Joint Physical Custody: The shared right to have a child live with one or the other parent at different times of the week or year.
Judgement of Divorce: A legal document following a settlement or trial that grants a divorce and states the court’s decisions with regard to alimony, support, custody, visitation rights, and equitable distribution.
Maintenance: Alimony or child support payments
Marital Settlement Agreement: An out-of-court agreement that resolves all issues surrounding a divorce.
Mediation: A process by which a dispute is resolved and an agreement between two parties is reached with the assistance of a disinterested third party known as a mediator.
Non-Marital Property: Property that belongs exclusively to either the husband or the wife and, as such, cannot be divided between the two.
No-Fault Divorce: A divorce granted with the mutual agreement of two spouses, or when one spouse has left the marriage for a certain period of time (varies by state).
Rehabilitative Alimony: Alimony that helps the ex-spouse to become self-reliant.
Separation: The absence of one spouse from the household before a divorce.
Separation Agreement: A temporary agreement with regard to support, child custody and property for the period between the onset of separation and the granting of a divorce.
Spouse: A husband or wife
Support: Payment due to one spouse from the other regarding housing, food, clothing, and other expenses.
Transfer: To switch legal ownership from one person to another.
Verification Statement: An oath declaring that the information stated in a document is true.
Visitation: The right for a non-custodial parent to visit his or her child.